8   +   5   =  
Music Monday, 12/26: London O'Connor, Tinashe, Roots Manuva, and Mai Lan (and George Michael).

Music Monday, 12/26: London O’Connor, Tinashe, Roots Manuva, and Mai Lan.

Thank God it’s not Christmas! We kick off this week’s Music Monday with that exact sentiment in a song by Sparks. From there, we help you ring in the New Year with some great dance tunes and a few mellow ones for more laid-back times. As always, we are featuring some excellent new tunes by artists like Roots Manuva, London O’Connor, Tinashe, Mai Lan, Tennis, Seu Jorge and many more.

Pop Star George Michael Dies at 53

Rather than carry on as we usually do for Music Monday, we would like to take a moment to honor the late George Michael who died on Christmas Day at the far-too-young age of 53.

George Michael was a bisexual superstar who came out in a time that was still incredibly hostile to the LGBTQ community. He was part of the pop duo Wham! which first found fame with super sugary tunes like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Michael became more mature with his solo work in “Careless Whisper,” “I Want Your Sex” and “Faith,” among others.

Michael lent his music to different charities, often those who centered AIDS education and care. He was a talented musician who served as backup band, vocalist and producer to several of his albums. Though he was a pop star, he took his love of music very seriously.

“I never minded being thought of as a pop star,” Michael told GQ in 2004. “People have always thought I wanted to be seen as a serious musician, but I didn’t, I just wanted people to know that I was absolutely serious about pop music.”

We’ll miss you, George Michael.

For those of you unfamiliar with George Michael, or for the folks who want to revisit a few classics, Spotify has compiled a list of his work.